In Alabama history, Advent 4th graders have been learning about the Alabama connection to the U.S. space program. They have studied the arrival of Dr. Wernher von Braun and his team of rocket scientists to Huntsville and about the space race to put a man on the moon. In STEM class at the same time, the students studied the solar system, complete with outstanding projects.
To complete their unit, the students took a trip to Huntsville to visit the U. S. Space & Rocket Center. The trip began with a guided tour of the Davidson Flight Center. We saw many displays of rockets and space memorabilia that allowed us to visualize some of the topics we had discussed. This included a Saturn V rocket displayed horizontally so we could begin to grasp its enormous size. We also saw a display that let us experience the power of a rocket blast complete with video, vibrations and sounds! Other artifacts included the original Mercury and Gemini capsule trainers, a model of America’s first satellite, Explorer I, and the Apollo 16 capsule “Casper.” We then learned about what the next generation space vehicles will be like and visited displays that revealed present and future plans for human spaceflight.
Some of the other highlights to our day included watching an IMAX movie in the Spacedome, climbing the Mars rock wall, and working in a hands-on lab with Space Center personnel. The students loved some of the astronaut training simulators including the motion based Hyper Ship, experiencing what a rocket launch feels like on the Space Shot, and feeling three times the force of gravity in the G-Force. We all had such a fun day!
Check out their website: https://www.rocketcenter.com/